Although the news was inevitable, the passing of Carnegie Mellon professor Dr. Randy Pausch was devastating news to me and especially the pancreatic cancer community. Even as he was dying, he gave hope to others struggling with this dreadful disease.
As an accidental celebrity, he did what no celebrity has done before – he spoke up to raise awareness for a disease that has been ignored for far too long by the public and the federal government.
I am dedicated to keeping Dr. Pausch’s message alive by "making every day matter in the fight against pancreatic cancer." We are at a critical stage with this disease, and he stressed the incredible urgency of increasing the research funding needed to give patients a fighting chance. His philosophy of "every day matters" was a testament to his determination and strength.
My father, Gene Howard, died of pancreatic cancer in 1977 at age 57. My brother and business partner, Hank Howard, died of complications of this disease in 2005 at age 61. An underwhelming amount of progress has been made toward early detection and cure for pancreatic cancer in the last 30 years.
I am a volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Please get involved in the fight against the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, please visit www.pancan.org
, or call 877/272-6226.